There has been talk about Delightful Kiss running in the $5-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). But the Hobeau Farm homebred will be entered in the inaugural $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon at 1 ½ miles because his connections want a win in the World Championships sooner rather than later, and time is running out. Hobeau owner Jack Dreyfus is in his 90s.
“I think his chances are better in the Marathon,” said Delightful Kiss’ trainer, Pete Anderson. “We can always go in the Classic next year if the horse stays sound. Mr. Dreyfus is quite old, so we would rather win one of lesser value than to finish third in the higher value race.”
A 4-year-old gelded son of Kissin Kris, Delightful Kiss is coming into the Breeders’ Cup at Southern California’s Santa Anita Park with consecutive victories in track record time over synthetic surfaces. He captured the Sept. 6 Turfway Park Fall Championship Stakes (gr. III), at the Marathon distance, in 2:32.25 while defeating Star Plus by 1 ¼ lengths. He then took the All American Stakes (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields by a length over Awesome Gem, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.54.
“He likes to lay back, and you’ve got to have a rider with ice water going through his veins,” said Hobeau Farm general manager Craig Wheeler. “Some jockeys get nervous when their 15 or 20 lengths behind the field, but when they ask him to go, it’s like he’s breaking from the starting gate. They can’t believe the burst of speed that he has.”
Delightful Kiss suffers from anhidrosis or a lack of sweating, Anderson said. But the trainer doesn’t think it will be a problem Oct. 25, when the gelding is scheduled to compete in the Marathon. In Anderson’s experience, horses with anhidrosis are affected the most during the summer.
“The weather should be perfect by the time we get down there,” said Anderson, who is preparing Delightful Kiss for the Breeders’ Cup at Golden Gate in Northern California. “Once you get past Sept. 15 or 20, you’re in good shape as far as Florida is concerned, and I assume it’s the same way in the rest of the country.”